TransLink will help commuters avoid the ‘double charge’ by temporarily handing out Compass tickets to commuters at SkyTrain stations, according to 24 Hours Vancouver.
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TransLink vice-president Bob Paddon tells the newspaper they plan to have SkyTrain attendants at stations handing out Compass tickets to those who have bus transfers during the transition period.
“There could be issues at certain stations at times of day — if you’re at late night at a station, we may not have somebody there,” he said.
“But in the rush hours when a lot of people are coming in, we’re just (temporarily) going to try and assist people in making that transition to the Compass card … (handing out) a single ride pass just to get them on the train.”
Don’t expect this service to extend beyond the transition period. Commuters should plan to purchase a Compass card for $6 when it becomes available to avoid the so-called ‘double charge‘. A one-zone adult fare on the Compass card will cost $2.35 compared to a $2.75 coin fare.
It was revealed last month that faregates at the SkyTrain stations won’t be accepting the paper issued on buses for coin fares. It meant commuters would have to pay a second fare at the station to get past the faregates unless they purchased a Compass card.
TransLink defended the decision arguing it wasn’t financially sound to spent $25 million to upgrade the fareboxes on its fleet of nearly 1,500 buses to issue Compass tickets when they are reaching the end of their useful life in the next three to five years.
A cheaper solution of upgrading ticket vending machines at stations to allow the exchange of a bus transfer for a Compass ticket was also nixed. They said it wasn’t in the taxpayer’s best interest to tack on an additional $9 million to the $180-million project.
The Compass card and system is currently undergoing beta testing. It is expected to launch system-wide in the coming months.